The former wife of a Whitehouse man accused of shooting and killing a woman who used to be his girlfriend testified Friday that he “drank alcohol to excess.”
“He said he shot someone coming in through the window and that person had shot Sandra,” Mrs. Smith said in response to questioning from prosecutor Whitney Tharpe.
She added that her former husband had been a heavy drinker who liked vodka.
Defense Attorney LaJuanda Lacy asked Mrs. Smith if she saw her former husband daily. She responded that she did not. “So you wouldn’t know what he does on a daily basis,” Ms. Lacy said. The defense asked about the brightness of the light in Smith’s home.
Mrs. Smith testified that not all of the utilities worked in Smith’s home and he lived inside of a metal addition that had been added on to the main house. Her former husband received checks from Social Security and had not worked since 2008. The only light in the room came from a television and a light bulb hanging over his chair.
“It was not very bright, but you could see around the room. I never saw light in the house,” Mrs. Smith said.
Karen Ream, a forensic scientist with the Department of Public Safety lab in Tyler, testified that Smith’s blood alcohol content was .165, which is more than twice the legal limit for driving. She said it would take someone drinking the equivalent amount of alcohol found in eight or nine drinks, or about 1 ½ ounces of alcohol per drink, for someone to have a blood alcohol content at that level.
Ms. Lacy asked about the effects on an individual with such a high amount of alcohol in his system.
“There could be a loss of judgment, a loss of reaction, and reduced visual acuity — the peripheral vision is reduced,” Ms. Ream said. She added that an experienced drinker or someone who drinks alcohol frequently has a higher tolerance.
Prosecutor Jacob Putnam asked about the effect that a high alcohol content can have on someone. “It results in exaggerated emotional states, coordination, and a lot worse,” Ms. Ream said.
Prosecutors were expected to rest their case on Friday.